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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  August 14, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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no i brought you a lot of robin and west alabama abortion center, more than i typically would. we take these long interviews and we headed down and show you the portion of it. i found at every moment i spoke with her, it's so important. a lot to be as watches that conversation as i could. i want to thank her, and everyone at the west alabama wins center, for the incredible work and making f is a possibility. in the wake of the overturning of roe, it is important to shed light on abortion access and the impediment to a woman's right to choose, with program commit to network, and plan to keep banging that drum, when it comes to abortion rights in this country. because it is one of the most pivotal and important topics of our time. straight, ahead we have the latest details on the classified documents that donald trump kept at mar-a-lago. i will convene another banned book club, what is the inherent nature of man?
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we're gonna discuss lord of the flies. another hour of velshi, begins right now. good morning, and this sunday august 14th, i am velshi, it's been a week since the fbi has conducted mar-a-lago, as donald trump tried to branded, and we learned it is the third time that we know of, that representatives of the american government have to go visit former president trump's west palm beach hideaway, where he has been stashing a highly sensitive documents, that belong to the united states. back in january, the last archives collected 15 boxes from mar-a-lago, after they realize the trump administration, some things they never handed over. during that first round of retrieval, were documents that were marked classified. this was just a small sign of things to come. we know that this past spring,
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the department of justice quietly subpoenaed donald trump for any and all remaining records that he had in his possession. it's an important point, trump keeps talking about a raid, where they came and unannounced. trump administration. the trump circle has known for sometime, the government has between the two trump documents, that should not be in terms possession. according to new york times, that subpoena in the spring, prompted j brat -- the top counter intelligence official in the justice departments, national security division, to travel to mar-a-lago, and hopes of resolving the matter amicably. he was given a tour of the property, and was shown boxes that trump had brought from the white house, to his florida home. him and his team, reportedly came back from that trip, with even more classified material, that donald trump had been holding on to. but that was not it, crucially for the new york times, but they reported yesterday, at least one lawyer for donald trump, had signed a written statement after that visit in
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the spring. a testing that all classified materials had been returned to united states government. that times reporting as according to four people who have knowledge of the document. nbc news has not individually verified that reporting. it is working to confirm that. after monday's search, -- signified that the justice department did not believe that trump and his team were being fully forthcoming with them. it may be why the fbi search warrants cited a potential violation, that was related to obstruction. the fbi search produced more sets of classified documents. there are even documents marked, top secret, slash, s c i. which stands for sensitive compartmented information. meaning the contents there, and should be viewed in a secure facility. i have not been the mar-a-lago. something tells me, invitation
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-- nothing seems ideal for viewing and storing documents, that the american document -- now representatives adam schiff and carolyn maloney, the chairs of the house and intelligence, and oversight committee, respectively, are asking the director of national intelligence, to before we damages cement. the big question is, what could donald trump have been trying to hold on to, and why? but since a lot of what he took was classified, the general public may never fully find out what information is in many of those boxes that trump tried to hide away in the basement of mar-a-lago. joining me now is one of the best or supporters in the game when it comes to national security, maybe has some idea, charlie savage, pulitzer prize -winning correspondent for new york times. nbc contributor, author of power, wars relentless rise of
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presidential authority, and secrecy. charlie you've had a couple of days to try to make sense of what is going on here, what have you been able to learn? what was there, and why was it there? >> that is the 64,000 dollar question. the question is whether president trump had some reason to take all this stuff, or he just wanted to do it. these are mine, i can take them, they are neat. and that is it. there is no sort of larger scheme here, then a generally chaotic approach to following the rules. but we may never have a systemic understanding, if indeed they are classified, i twist you did not mention in your otherwise comprehensive intro, trump's latest defense here, is that they were all declassified, even though the markings were not removed from them. that he had a system in which
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anything that he took upstairs to the residential, presidential floor of the white house residence, thereby automatically became declassified. we think these documents that made their way to mar-a-lago, who are largely documents that he had been hoarding in the residence section of the white house. and then more boxed up along with socks and underwear, when it was time for him to leave, and biden to come in. we can talk more about that if you would like. >> what waters that whole? the idea was, there was a so-called standing order. i don't know if that takes the form of a memo or a paper, or something filed with the national security apparatus, that the documents removed from the white house and taken a mar-a-lago, hence they were declassified. evaluate that for me is that possibly true? if that's possibly true, will we need to know to know if that is true? does donald trump just get to say that was the case? does someone have to
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demonstrate that was the fact? >> i wrote a piece about this, it will go up on the new york times website, in the hour. that's a great question asked. first of all as a preliminary matter, two things. one this is a late arising claim, that the trump office, not even trump himself, was where he put his name on, and wondered to john solomon, the right wing -- who has become trump's representatives on trump's archives. friday night is the first time anyone mentions this supposed standing order. i'm not seeing any evidence or heard anyone mentioned it before. caveat number one, it may not exist. number two, it does not matter for the true purpose of trump's legal woes here. none of the three criminal laws side in the search warrant, as the basis of this investigation, turn or depend on whether the information that was mishandled, had been deemed classified at the time. to don't have to do anything
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with national security. to find the kind of information in a way that it does not matter, it's been deemed top secret. the notion that that could be a system, and which randomly, whatever trump happen to scoop up, and take upstairs to the second floor residents, thereby became automatically declassified, without any system to log what that was, would he have to take office desk in the oval office, or to notify the rest of the government. the agency that quote unquote -- that used it all the time, that has been greeted with disdain by experts and national security law. it's incoherent, it's not how this classification system works. no one knows in his head and he's declassified something. then the rest of the government continues to treat it as classified, they continue to require markings on it, you
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have to have a special security clearance to see it. you're not allowed to tell the people, that it's almost a metaphysical notion, you can have a secret declassification, that no one knows about. criminal laws exist largely separately from the executive branch bureaucracies, classification system for bureaucratic handling of government secrets. it's also irrelevant to this dispute at the end of the day. >> you have a piece coming up on this, thank you very much for giving us a sneak preview. charlie savage is a washington correspondent for the new york times, he specializes in issues of national security, i'm joined now by former u.s. -- have i she and i have been working together to make sense, of the start the week. i think it's an important development, charlie points out, it does not matter. the stuff that is in that warrant, it's not about whether or not the materials are classified, this unusual defense that donald trump and his team -- team are putting forward,
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magically left the white house and went to mar-a-lago, and it metaphysically, as charlie savage, this is declassified. it's weird, if we're being charitable? >> it's not credible, and it is part of this shape shifting defense that we have seen as the week has played out. first there was a denial that trump had, any documents, and then it was the fbi planted the documents. and now, it's, i declassified those anyway. as charlie pointed out, that is not relevant. the justice department did something really tactically smart here, i think as the week progressed, until we saw that weren't on friday, there was an assumption, that the main charge would have been the statute of 1924. that's the one that gets used the most, sandy berger, that is the one that trump ironically change the penalty for, when he signed the bill, changing from when you're misdemeanor, to a five-year felony. there's a lot of talk about
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that. but the justice department is something very clever here. they selected charges, that do not require classification as an element of defense. as trump came up with this defence number three he was thinking like the rest of us that it was going to be discharged, 1924. i think they are probably back to the drawing board, coming up with defense number four. >> one of the things that new york times reported, they signed a statement that all of the, classified materials have been returned to the american government in june, months before monday's search. apropos the conversation we just had a lot of the stuff does not rely on whether or not the information was classified. this does provide another element to this. a trump lawyer after meeting with the department of justice said, generally speaking you have everything you are looking, for everything you wanted. and now it turns out that was maybe not true either? >> i think that explains
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inclusion of the third statute, that is listed in the search warrant. which is an obstruction of justice statute, that makes it a crime to conceal documents after the government has asked for them back. it could be that pertains to donald trump, or others. it seems unlikely that trump will be the focus of the investigation. he alone could not have pack and transported those boxes. it was a lawyer here that said that's it, you got it all back. even though a lawyer might make a mistake if there are one or two remaining scraps of paper, there are 27 boxes of documents that were remaining. that seems pretty hard to believe. now, one of the problems with all of these statutes is that they all require knowledge and intent of the person, if to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. if the lawyer were to say trump assured me that they had everything, i suppose that would be a way to dodge responsibility there. somebody knew they had these, whoever that person is, could
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be the one who is facing some serious trouble there. whether that's trump, or others, or all of them together, i think the investigation will have to unfold before we know that. >> the serious trouble, the legal exposure is about knowledge and intent. for many of us, the question remains motivation. knowledge and intent does not have to do anything with motivation, you have to know it happened. and you intended to move those documents, and store them in a way that perhaps was not legal. what do you think this is for? historically, trump is not a sentimental guy, we are not just talking about photographs and things like that. how do we establish, and does the law need to establish why this happened? >> first, no. as you said motive is different from intent, it really is the mere possession of these things that is a crime. as long as you know you have them, and that is against the law. you have to show that added element. but the motive, why he had,
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them is not necessary to show. i don't know, but i will tell you, that one thing i do know, if you've ever read a classified document, i had a chance mercury to read them, they're clearly marked, they had a cover sheet, that says secret, disclosure of this could cause grave damage to the national security of the united states, i want to read, it absorb, it and give it back. i don't want this thing, i want to forget it and let it sit down on the table. get this back in the safe immediately. the idea that trump has boxes and boxes of the stuff, suggests that he's got a reason. not the thing where you get a proper fit to tenants award, or frame. these are the nation's deepest and most sensitive secrets. i have to think that there are all kinds of possibilities from blackmail, to monetizing, to using his trade bait to the government, if he should be charged with a crime. that sometimes referred to as a
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great mail. we will have to wait to see what the motive is here, if you'll ever. no if we'll ever know. thanks for your analysis. it's always hard to call people for analysis on things that are by definition secretive impossible to be out there, are not supposed to be known, but your knowledge on the underlying laws here is really important to help us get clarity. i think you on behalf of my viewers. -- and msnbc legal analyst. fbi has become target of the very extremists investigates. is the cause and effect of the rise and violent rhetoric coming from certain figures on the right. plus the political career of one of the parties most vast defenders of democracy, liz cheney is on the ballot this tuesday in wyoming. it is not looking good for her. we have a meeting of the velshi banned book club featuring lord of the flies. the question asked, what is the inherent nature of man. it answers it in a dark, pessimistic way. our bad book club guest has a compelling argument in favor of
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your example. as we have been discussing, former president continues to spin his own narrative of about the nature and scope of the fbi search of him as mar-a-lago home. -- it continues to have far reaching effects. a fervent trump supporter and navy veteran tried to breach the fbi field office in cincinnati, ohio, armed with a nail gun and an ar-15 style rifle. he was later shot and killed in the standoff with police. officials have identified the gunman as ricky walter schiffer. shiver had an online present on trump's social media platform truth social. he apparently posted about a desire to kill fbi agents before his attempted attack in after the attack he posted again. the washington post reports that, quote, shippers teams is used on several platforms by an individual who spoke about being at the capitol on january 6th, 2020, one urging the call
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to arms after the fbi executed a search warrant at the former presidents donald trump's florida state on monday. for years we have watched as trump has a spewed violent rhetoric out in the open. at first these work he at home in the dark corners of the web, but as we saw on january 6th and so many far-right incidents that i followed, the guardrails are officially off. this fascist rhetoric continues to have deadly real world consequences. joining me to discuss all of this is the award-winning historian and professor of history studies at yale. dr. freeman. good to see you in real life again. >> shocking. >> i was alarmed on monday, when so much of this talk went from donald trump talking about witch hunt to fighting back and even the terminology civil war. it is far from rare. we have had people talk about civil war for the last five years, then we see it move into
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action. that is very alarming. there is no point in which donald trump or his circle have come out and decide what happened in cincinnati. this person's actions, he tied directly to what happened in mar-a-lago in the fact the fbi was on a witch hunt. >> right. i have a number of problems with branding whatever is going on right now a civil war. in part, as you're suggesting, it's an escalating phrase. right? so, whatever is going on, it suggests something formal, it's just something structured unorganized. right now none of that is true, thankfully. the other reason why i have a problem with that -- with calling anything that is because all the enough it is, i was gonna say it's comforting, which is counterintuitive. in american history when you say civil war you think about a specific event. >> and of what's which mutt could came. >> exactly. so when you say that, we're
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going into a civil war, a links immediately to the civil war. both sides, something that was framed and -- it takes away, but i think, is the real ugliness and violence on the surface of what's going on right now. this is largely extremist violence we are seeing right now. this is not a civil war. we can argue about what gets to the measurement of civil war, but i think this hides things. i think it does a kind of history mask for what is going on, which is not -- >> let's take that. what's happening is not structured, it is extremist. it is a lot of things, but one of the things that we were talking about a couple of nights ago is that it is also -- it is not coming from the deepest, darkest corners of the internet. this is fairly mainstream. this guy wasn't attending a january 6th, a big believer in donald trump, and he took the words that this is a witch hunt and really bad, we are not going to take it anymore, we'll
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fight back, this is language you find very commonly across media these days. >> right? that's an important thing because it shows, again, something that might seem counterintuitive. the importance of words, that words and rhetoric really matter, particularly if they are coming from someone high up. not only do they frame things, but they are a way of sort of sending things in motion. i think that rhetoric is threatening and we see this all the time. we saw this during the january 6th hearings, that a threat comes out and then there are a lot of threats that follow it. there may not be specific violence that comes of it but now anyone who has been threatened is going to be aware that there might be violence. that is the power of these violent words, threats, rhetoric. nothing has to happen necessarily, though in case this case it did even worse. just the idea that there are these threats has impact in some cases violence as people the center because they don't want to get people in the
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middle of the mix-up. >> we have politicians who are calling to defund the fbi, which is ironic because they didn't like the defund the police language. marjorie taylor greene is selling equipment, gear, kept, things like that. paul gosar, the arizona representative, tweeted i will support a complete dismantling elimination of the democrat brownshirts known as the fbi. this is too much for our republic to withstand. then he takes a whole bunch of people who are either conspiracy theorists or election deniers or carey laker who is going to be the republican candidate for governor in arizona. the question here is the degree to which this overlaps with reality. these are people who are elected officials or soon to be elected officials, or have very, very big voices in what has become mean mainstream conservative media. >> absolutely. first of all, brownshirts does the same thing that civil war does which is like oh no, not seats, something foreign, not
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american, makes it frame it in someone else's conflict. we own this. number one, the right. it's coming on high. it will have an important impact south for sure the higher up goes the more public it is, the more impact it will have in the more dangerous it is. >> are we post debate on this? how do you fix this? when officials who don't -- officials who like donald trump and don't like democrats move this direction and start this conversation and then people take action. it's like the guy who shot up the -- in washington, he didn't kill anyone but he really thought he was rescuing base babies from the basement of a place that didn't have a basement. what is the methodology for solving this? >> that is the big question. i will say that there is one thing that that kind of comment about fbi brownshirts kind of alliance and it's happening a lot among some people on the right. that is forgetting about the rule of law. the fact that there are laws
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that can be violated, the fact that violating that has a consequence. you can brownshirt people you life but if they're protected by the law, held by the law, that is not system not only of aggression but a system of restraint. right now there is a lot of those on the right, some of those on the right, assuming that there are people on the rule and above the rule of law but that is not only incorrect, it is dangerous. >> did you see this. was not the. this was a fairly benign matter of months of preparation and then a search of the place. everything seems to show you this kind of overheated reaction. we can discount some of the fact that they come from politicians, but are you worried to the degree to which people hear the staff inside act on their own? >> well yes and particularly in an ideal world, in an ideal
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world you might say there would be no social media, that we would know within an incident that this happened. we don't know a lot of the details, thanks coming, out spilling, out leaking out, being revealed. ideally we wouldn't have people flying off because we wouldn't be as immersed, or seemingly immersed, in it as we are. it's totally true that social media exists for the sort of thing, obviously. somebody makes a charge and nowadays what is reality? people messing with the video and doing all sorts of things it's very easy to see how a false charge, a lie, how manipulative video of some kind could send people off in a direction and the question is a big one. what do you do? i think reminding people about the rule of law is an important part of it but that is not the answer. that's a good one. >> dr. joanne friedman is a award-winning and -- his three professor at yale university. i read her stuff, follow you on
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twitter, and you should too. as voters get ready in wyoming to head to the polls on tuesday for the state republican primaries, republican representative liz cheney seems poised to lose her seat in the house. what did she do wrong? she stopped for truth and democracy. democracy. meet daughter's playtime. thankfully, meta portal auto pans and zooms to keep you in frame. and the meeting on track. meta portal. the smart video calling device that makes work from home work for you. i had been giving koli kibble. it never looked like real food. with the farmer's dog you can see the pieces of turkey. it smells like actual food. as he's aged, he's still quite energetic and youthful. i really attribute that to diet. get started at unleash the freshness... ♪♪ still fresh i really attribute that to diet. ♪♪ in wash-scent booster ♪♪ downy unstopables
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no real jobs are created here. but the promise between our state and our sovereign tribes would be broken forever. these out-of-state corporations don't care about california. but we do. stand with us. midterm elections are 86 days
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away. primaries have painted a clear picture of al-qaeda republican candidates will prevail. spoiler alert, it's the kind that stand against democracy, and refused to hold donald trump accountable, for inciting the january 6th insurrection with the big lie. it's become increasingly clear. that any gop lawmaker who voted on the side of truth and democracy, when it came to donald trump's second impeachment, is not being forced out on the party by rank and file republicans themselves, in primary voting. --
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or simply by being forced to retire, because they can see the tea leaves and clear expectations, but they cannot win against a primary challenger. two lawmakers were able to win their primaries though. they would learn the fate of the country's most prominent republican truth tellers, liz cheney, why there are vote to -- when you think of our politics? put that aside for a moment? she stood tall, called out trump, put democracy ahead of the party. and it's not helping lead the house investigation into who is responsible for one of america's darkest days. doing the right thing, when it came to democracy, has already cost her a leadership position in the party last year, and could cost her, her reelection. according to an average recent polling, she's trailing her primary opponents, by more than 20 points. but, she sticking to her guns. this week she released one final campaign ad, two minutes
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long by the way. i would recommend that you go to the internet to watch the whole thing. but this is an ad to convince your constituents what she is worth their vote, that's such a critical time. >> like many candidates across this country, my opponents in wyoming have said that the 2020 election was rigged, and stolen. no one who understands our nations laws, no one with an honest honorable genuine commitment to our constitution, we do that. it is cancer that threatens our great republic. if we do not condemn these lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct. and it will become a feature of all elections. we are stronger, dedicated, and more determined than those trying to destroy our republic. this is our great task. and we will prevail. i hope you will join me, in this fight. >> joining me now from wyoming, is the international politics
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reporter, jonathan allen. good to see you. this is an interesting one. is there some chance that that message connects with voters, and that list cheney prevails? or are the indications are, she's not going to win the primary? >> no. almost no chance that she wins a primary, unless there is some sort of divine intervention at the last minute here. she's trailing by a lot both sides. her team has called it, or called her allies [inaudible] national audience more aimed at trying to keep alive with liz cheney is talking about, be on this primary election. couple of supporters yesterday, including, lifelong democrats and lifelong republicans, who said that they hope that there is a surprise in store but that
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hope is not faith -- certainly not belief. >> when you spoke to one cheney voter and wanted to ask what it is about her that they did not, like let's just play that. >> you have anything specific, which you don't like about liz cheney? >> the fact that she and biden are handed hand, i don't like his politics. i don't like the way the country is going. i don't like the way our nation is going. and i can't wait to see trump back in business. >> is there a future phyllis cheney and wyoming? it's a possibility she runs as an independent, a possibility she runs for some other office, is there a possibility, this cheney runs for president? what happens to liz cheney after tuesday? >> some of the supporters i spoke to yesterday, hope he runs for president. and that they would support her if she did that in the future. i certainly, i think it's a
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possibility. not clear whether she would have one and a republican primary, trying to reshape the republican party, a run as an independent. she has obviously not spoken about these things. to do so would be to suggest that, she was going to lose this primary. we'll have to listen to what she says on election night, and thereafter, but maybe if she doesn't do that, which he has done a sort of stake out a set of values that have been popular, with the segment of the republican party, feels disaffected by donald trump, and some democrats who you never would have thought that you are placing liz cheney. -- >> democrats talking about liz cheney, when her primary does indicate, that the world is a bit upside down. john allen, our senior reporter for nbc news.
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we're looking at the visceral classic lord of the lies, for the velshi banned book club. coming up. velshi banned book club. coming up.
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we are receiving word right now from the capitol police about an incident near the capital, and the supreme court that happened in the early hours of this morning. according to press release from capitol police, a man drove his car into a barricade, located at the intersection of east capitol and second street, at around 4 am local time after the man got out of his vehicle, the car went up in flames, and the man fired several gunshots into the air. capitol police approached, and the man shot himself. congress is on recess this week, there is no word if the man had a motive or target. stories developing, we will bring you more as we have it. we are following some breaking news of the middle east. at least eight people were wounded, two of them critically after a gunman opened fire on a bus, in a route to the old city of jerusalem. according to the u.s. ambassador to israel, some of
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the injured in the attack are american. israeli officials have identified the gunman as a palestinian man from east jerusalem, saying he turned himself in after the shooting. israeli officials were calling the shooting a terrorist attack. prime minister issued a stark warning saying quote, whoever harms the citizens of israel, will have nowhere to run. this attack follows an intense week of fighting between israel and militants of the gaza strip. we saw more than 1000 rockets launch, nearly 50 people killed in gaza. and hundreds more wounded. still ahead, we are featuring featuring the classic lord of the flaws. it's inspired countless movies, television shows, and modern literature, including the emmy awarded yellow jackets. >> i will never forget the day i heard that plane had gone missing. what do you think? what do you think really happened out there?
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♪ i've been everywhere, that laman. ♪l day. ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ crossed the desert's bare, man. ♪ ♪ i've breathed the mountain air, man. ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ ♪ i've been to: pittsburgh, parkersburg, ♪ ♪ gravelbourg, colorado, ♪ ♪ ellensburg, cedar city, dodge city, what a pity. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ lord of the flies is referenced
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in articles, foundation for new movies. it is the ire of high school students. you probably know the story of lord of the flies, even if you have not read it or have not read it for a long time. the book begins with a group of boys extended on an island. they're not privy on how they got there, but mentions unspecified nuclear war. ages ranging from young children to teens, our strangers, except for a group of choirboys, justin black cloaks, led by the protagonist jack. they established a sense of order, nominating ralph to lead. their focus is to have fun, hunt wild pigs, and maintain a fire. this devolves very quickly. the group splinters, most of them following jack's lead, the boys abandoned their humanity, and the reverence for human life.
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the murder of peggy, the book's most sympathetic character, is indelible and visceral. despite becoming the pinnacle adventure story, lord of the flies is a dark satire, turning and existing genre on its head. the author william golding went so far to use exact setting and character names from arm valentines, coral island. the boys even referenced adventure books directly, quote, it's like in a book. once there was a clamor, treasure island, swallows an amazon, coral island, ralph weaved, wave the conch. this is our island. misadventure books maintain a long held conventions of the time period, which they were written. including the glorification of colonization, and british exceptionalism. as well as damaging stereotypes about indigenous people. lord of the flies grapples with the falsities of these concepts, as well as inch -- issues of morality, man versus man, inherently, and the loss
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of innocence. lord of the flyers has been challenged frequently since its publication. in september of 1954. parents and school administrators, have complained about the books use of violence. the language, the violence, the imagery, the pervasive bullying. yet it remains one of the most commonly taught novels across this nation. when reading lord of the flies, for the first time as a soft more, or for the 15th time as an adult, you cannot help but ask yourself. which of the characters you would most behave like. should you find yourself stuck on a desert island. are you reasonable, yet ostracized? a magnetic leader like ralph, self serving and chaotic like jack? introspective like simon, or are you just one of the masses? when reading lord of the flies, you cannot help but ask yourself, what would happen in real life? our banned book club guests for today, set out to find an answer to those questions, by finding a real life example, of
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lord of the flies. stunningly, he succeeded. stumbling across a 1966 australian newspaper article, concern in six boys who had been found on a small rocky island, south of tonga, after being marooned there, for more than a year. while the boys and lord of the flies are undone by far, they kept their flame lit the entire time. they also set up in edible garden, hollowed tree trunks to store water, they built chicken pans, constructed a badminton court, they made a makeshift guitar, from driftwood and coconut shell, starting and ending each day in song and prayer. when they argued, they solved it by imposing a mandated timeout. a lot more to the story, i will leave it to rutgers, and he'll tell you himself, after the break. we'll dig into the true story of lord of the flies, and the enduring legacy of the books. grabber snacks, and your team, because the velshi banned book
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we're talking lord of the flies. this week's meeting of the velshi banned book club. i'm joined by historian and author of four books. a hopeful history, rather nice to see you again. this is not a topic that you and i normally discuss. i thought this would be an interesting approach to lloyd applies. let's start with the fascinating and true story, that you reported on.
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you are looking for a real life example, what happens if a bunch of boys and up on a desert island, having to make it for a while. tell us what you found? >> if this story would have been a fictional hollywood movie, people would say, this is so sentimental. it's naive, it's worth -- worse than -- this would never happen. but it's a real story. i remember reading lord of the flies, when i was a kid, 16 years old, and being quite depressed afterwards. it was only later when i was doing the research for humankind, i thought, has it ever happen? has there ever been a real case, of real kids, ship wrecking on a real island? how would they behave? that is why i started doing the research. how i discovered that the real lord of the flies, is almost every single way, the complete and total opposite of the novel. >> give us a little bit of a flavor of it.
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we have a picture of it on the screen. the real example, people were more cooperative. they did not devolve into the worst instincts. as lord of the flies implies, would often happen. >> yes. the story starts, these kids are bored with school. they don't like their school, they don't like the homework, or the school meals. let's go on an adventure. they borrow about, they steal it. they had this dream of going to fiji, or new zealand, or something like that. but what happens in the first night, already, is that they end up in a storm. and then they drift for eight days. their ship becomes a wreck, and then on the eight-day, they see land. it is a small island, and they get onshore, somehow survive there for more than a year. for 15 months in total. and they do it by cooperating.
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i think it is an example, of what scientists call, survival of the friendliest. in our evolution, actually would us help us to survive is, cooperating. working together, that is the secret of our species. if we are at our best. obviously. that is really what this story shows. >> i can give a few example of politics right now, that works against that. this book lord of the lies, it's pessimistic. you read it, it was pessimistic, a lot of people read it that way. your book humankind, a hopeful history argues the exact opposite of that. now can you take the optimistic lens, and then read lord of the flies and enjoy it would make sense of it? >> lord of the flies, is still a great book. i would highly recommend people to read it. it helps you to ask the big questions, what is human nature really like. it gets pretty depressing.
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these are questions we should all ask ourselves. what would i do in a situation like that, when i am on in uninhabited island? i think it is an incredibly powerful novel, for kids to read. for adults to read. i think that kids also deserve to know, about the one time, in all of history, that we know of, where kids really shipwrecked on an island, because that's a different story. -- what lord of the fries is the word of the flats it's really about. my father greatly distrusted simple judgments. sought to examine the boy's reaction, in the face of such obstacles, it is the removal of law and order that in genders the eventual savage responses. this is interesting, the context here, is interesting. you are arguing that, in fact our nature is not savage. and would be cooperative.
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and she's arguing that her father's point was, when you remove structure in order, which is happening around the world in a lot of places, that is what's brings out our savagely. >> there is an old idea, deeply embedded in our culture that says, our civilization is just a thin layer. just a thin veneer, and below that raw -- lies raw human nature. this comes back again and again, and our philosophies and stories. i think it justifies, hierarchy, if we cannot trust each other, then we need the kings and queens and ceos and presidents and trump's, and authoritarians. that is their justification for that power. i think we should turn it around. if it is true, that people by nature, are actually cooperative, and want to work together, that maybe we do not need to live in a society like the one we are living in right now. that is so hierarchical -- maybe we could actually move
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towards a much better kind of world. i completely recognized, that's pretty far from where we are right now. my job as a historian, it's just open the windows, and to show that things can actually be different. because they have been indifferent in the past as well. >> you mentioned kings and queens, the title lord of the flies, is another name for one of the seven princes of hell. bielsa bob. he was a demon associated with pride and war, which are two things inherent to this book. rector you're a historian, but you're also, your father was a protestant minister. you're no stranger to religious ideology. is there christian commentary in the book? >> yes, probably. my father was never, he's not the strict conservative guy who says, we are also sinful. and therefore, we need to obey most of the time. there are different versions of
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religion obviously. i think we should judge ideas, on what they actually do. and how they make people behave. what i worry about, with the lord of the flies narrative, is that when you become so pessimistic about people, when you become more cynical about people, you become a little lazy as well. you are thinking, it does not matter anyway. what is the point of trying to change the world? >> yes. >> there's a form of christianity that was brought up with, and it was about the power of hope. >> this is a great conversation, i appreciate, it it's good to see you. thank you for your analysis, and your contribution to this, he is a historian, and the author of humankind, a hopeful history. thank you for watching this weekend, that does it for me. catch me every he -- quick note for those of you in the philadelphia area, tomorrow i'm gonna be at the club, for discussion about the global
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struggle about maintaining -- the events hosted by the philadelphia citizen, you need to register if you would like to attend. check my twitter for -- more details. stay where you, are the sunday show with jonathan capehart begins right now. begins right now good morning and welcome to the sunday show. i am jonathan capehart. we are truly in uncharted territory for the first time in american history the fbi has searched the home of a president of the united states, in this case on former president. it happened on monday at donald trump's mar-a-lago home in florida. in the unsealed search warrant, it reveals that federal agents removed 11 documents in


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